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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Interpretation Response #22-0071

Below is the interpretation response detail and a list of regulations sections applicable to this response.

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: W.E. Train Consulting

Individual Name: Mr. Gene Sanders

Location State: FL Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

January 19, 2023

Mr. Gene Sanders
W.E. Train Consulting
8635 W. Hillsborough Ave.
Tampa, FL  33615

Reference No. 22-0071

Dear Mr. Sanders:

This letter is in response to your July 20, 2022, letter, requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to the classification of soybean meal. In your letter, you state that 40 samples of soybean meal were taken from a variety of different soybean meal suppliers around the country and tested at an independent company in accordance with the United Nations Manual of Tests and Criteria for Division 4.2 (Spontaneously Combustible Material) self-heating material. You state that the results of the tests indicated that the soybean meal had oil levels ranging from 0.42–2.86%, moisture levels ranging from 10.79–13.07%, and that all 40 samples were determined to not meet the self-heating material criteria for Division 4.2. You ask whether future shipments of soybean meal—created through the exact same processes and having identical oil and moisture ranges—may be classified as "NOT self-heating" without additional self-heating testing.

As specified in § 173.22 of the HMR, it is the shipper's responsibility to properly class a hazardous material. Such determinations are not required to be verified by this Office. Furthermore, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration does not certify a shipper’s determination of whether a material is a hazardous material. However, based on the information you included in your letter, it is the opinion of this Office that—provided the required tests were performed on the material in the form to be transported and returned negative results—the tested materials would not be considered Division 4.2 self-heating material.

Please note that exclusion from a Division 4.2 self-heating material classification does not necessarily indicate the material is not a hazardous material that is subject to the HMR. In addition, if future shipments of your materials do not meet the definition of a hazardous material as defined by the HMR, they may be transported as non-hazardous materials—although we stress that it continues to be the offeror's responsibility to properly class its material.

I hope this information is helpful. Please contact us if we can be of further assistance.


T. Glenn Foster
Chief, Regulatory Review and Reinvention Branch
Standards and Rulemaking Division


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.22 Shipper's responsibility